catalyst leader

Make Excellence Non-Negotiable- By Brad Lomenick

Brad Lomenick is a good friend, who heads up a gigantic movement of young leaders, ages 22 to 40 years old. He and his team host the “Catalyst” conferences, in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Dallas, with tens of thousands of emerging leaders from faith-based organizations in attendance. They are all about changing the world. Brad just wrote a book called, “The Catalyst Leader” and I wanted you to get a taste of it, in this blog post below. Enjoy.

catalyst leader

As a leader, are you operating at good, better or best?

Good is doing what is expected of you. This typically falls in the slightly above-average range and is relatively easy to achieve with a bit of focus and determination. Better is rising a little higher than good and typically means you are comparing yourself to the next one in line.

But best is where you should want to live. It is greatness and doesn’t mean you are better than everyone else but that you’re working to your maximum capability.

I believe God demands our best. Being the best requires focus, determination, intentionality, hard work, perseverance and making sacrifices. Best isn’t about being arrogant; it’s about being confident.

In order to lead now and lead well, you must be a capable leader with the right standard and the right staff.

The Right Standard

Being a capable leader doesn’t mean being big or being expensive. It’s being excellent. If we are called by God to the work we do, then we bear the responsibility of doing this work with an unrivaled standard of excellence.

When you are the best, excellence is non-negotiable. As a leader, you must put into practice competence, excellence and a standard of reaching for perfection. Chase after a level of excellence that will stretch you and astonish others.

Every organization has a few areas where their standards are so high it’s annoying. This is a good thing. Capable leaders are willing to set standards that scare them and work to achieve them. They know areas they are so passionate about that they are unwilling to be uncompromising or even annoying.

A true change maker strives to be the absolute best in the world at what they do. They hustle; they are hungry and committed to getting better every single day.

The Right Staff

In addition to the right standard, a capable leader needs the right staff. I recently partnered with The Barna Group to conduct a study, surveying individuals over 18 about their thoughts on leadership. Thirty-one percent of respondents in our survey said that competence was one of the most important leadership traits of the next decade, and they’re right.

When I look to fill a need on my team, I look for make-it-happen kind of people. They must be spiritually grounded and passionate about our vision. But they must also not balk at difficult assignments and be willing to do whatever it takes to execute.

Hiring capable individuals will better serve your organization because capable leaders possess key qualities. They:

  • constantly push forward;
  • are team players;
  • own their mistakes;
  • are willing to take risks;
  • are constant learners;
  • aren’t entitled;
  • are anticipators;
  • are persistent;
  • are trustworthy; and
  • deliver.

Hiring the right staff will help you resist the temptation to believe you can carry an entire organization on the back of your talents or passions alone. You must surround yourself with equally gifted leaders who share a common commitment to excellence.

Excellence Begins with You

A high standard of excellence starts with you. The most successful leaders of this generation recognize the value of excellence in their work. The good news is: excellence is an essential anyone can express. We can all push through the quitting points making sure we give our best. We can all get dirt under our fingernails, hire a competent staff and set a high standard. You must begin creating a capable culture.

The stakes are high. And we all know when our performance is not our best. Our families know it. Our friends know it. Our staffs know it. Our bosses know it. And God knows it.

Make sure your standard is not just being a bit better than average or merely being better than your competitor. You must always strive to be the best you can be. Without a standard of excellence in your work, you have no hope for becoming a true change maker.

A Catalyst leader – someone who leverages his or her influence for the betterment of the world, the collective good of others, and the greater glory of God – is capable. Make excellence a non-negotiable.

Brad Lomenick is President and Key Visionary of Catalyst, one of America’s most influential leadership movements, and author of “The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials to Becoming a Change Maker.” Follow him at @BradLomenick or

Make Excellence Non-Negotiable- By Brad Lomenick